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Eielson serves top-notch meals to birthday boys, girls

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jonathan Snyder
  • 354th Communications Squadron
Eielson's dining facility hosts a birthday meal once every two months for single Airmen who live in the dormitory.

With a turn out of more than 20 people, the March 22 birthday meal--for Airmen born in February and March--was a success.

Birthday meals bring fine dining at no cost to Airmen with meal cards and a fraction of the cost to non-meal card holders.

"This event is a great opportunity to recognize Airman who couldn't celebrate with their family and friends at home," said Master Sgt. Thomas Gonzales, 354th Services Squadron dining facility superintendent.

Events like these are made to boost the morale of Airmen in the dorms, said Sergeant Gonzales.

The dining facility was decorated with balloons and streamers to give a fun, party-like atmosphere. The Airmen are also encouraged to invite a friend to tag along for the celebration.

Compared to the average meal served by the dining facility, the birthday meals feature top-notch dishes of various "surf-and-turfs" and even a birthday cake.

The birthday meal is an Air Force-wide recognition of Airmen celebrating their birthday and has a standard menu consisting of shrimp cocktail, fried shrimp, lobster, rib-eye steak, assorted vegetables and desserts.

"This was the first birthday meal I have attended and I really enjoyed the food and service," said Airman 1st Class Lance Egan, 354th Communications Squadron radio maintenance technician.

To get a meal such as this off base, Eielson residents would have to drive 50 miles round-trip. But even those dinners aren't served to them on a platter by their commander, first sergeant or superintendent.

"I have participated in six birthday meals so far and it has been a great opportunity to make the Airmen feel special and important," said Maj. Michelle Hayworth, 354th Communication Squadron commander.

Much preparation is needed to make birthday meals happen.

The 354th Services Squadron food service personnel start preparing for the meal three days prior to make sure there is more than enough food for everyone attending.
The next birthday meal is for April and May babies and is slated for May 24.